Corruption is not just about bribery. It includes fraudulent and dishonest conduct, and abuse of power by those in authority, for personal gain. After the IGP’s exposé , we want to know the true scale of corruption in PDRM.
The revelations of the Inspector-General of Police, Abdul Hamid Bador, about corrupt practices within the force and the existence of a cartel of young police officers conspiring to oust him, have confirmed our suspicions. It also shows the extent of the deep state within the governing bodies in Malaysia.
If the PDRM has been infiltrated, how bad is the corruption within other public institutions? Two years ago, former Court of Appeal judge, Dr Hamid Sultan Abu Backer, made a serious allegation about interference in the Malaysian judiciary. We also know that certain civil servants undermine ministers or government policies, and they are not apolitical whilst serving the public.
Abdul Hamid said that he was trying to create a police force that had integrity, fairness and friendliness. He wanted to eradicate the “blue code of silence” under which the police turned a blind eye to the wrongs of their peers. His aim was to turn the PDRM into a world class agency.
Abdul Hamid’s exposé and his desire to clean up the force are commendable. He claimed that his revelations had two purposes.
First. He wanted to inform the public because he wanted them to know that he was aware of what they have known for many years. Secondly, he wanted the force to know that he was aware of what was going on, and he wanted to halt those who harboured an ambition to set-up an opposing group within the service.
Despite his good intentions, the IGP has dismissed various calls from Opposition MPs and the Malaysian Bar, for a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) to investigate his allegations. He claimed that he had the situation under control and opposed an RCI to investigate the criminal behaviour and misconduct of policemen. Did he decide the RCI was unnecessary, or was he ordered to oppose the RCI by the Home Minister?
The cooperation of the police in fighting crime needs public engagement. The interaction between the police and the rakyat is based on trust. The fact that the cartel exists has undermined our confidence in the PDRM.
The IGP added that the issue of the cartel of younger policemen was made worse by the presence of several retired policemen who used their former positions to demand ‘various things’ from currently serving officers. He claimed that these retired policemen would find fault with the PDRM, when their requirements were not entertained.
The IGP’s opposition to an RCI is puzzling. Equally confusing is the opposition of two ministers – the Home Minister, Hamzah Zainudin, and the De facto Law Minister, Takiyuddin Hassan, to an RCI, to investigate these serious claims. Don’t they want a proper investigation with transparency?
Was Abdul Hamid forced to reject the RCI, for reasons unknown to us? We are aware that his tenure as IGP ends in May. He has denied that his revelations were connected to a possible extension to his contract.
We are also aware that Abdul Hamid apologised to the Home Minister, because he had made the announcement about the cartel without briefing him first. This suggests that the IGP feared that if he had pre-warned the Minister, he might have been silenced.
The IGP claims that the cartel is under control, so let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. He acknowledged that the police force was to serve the public, enforce the law and uphold the Constitution. This means that Malaysians have a right to know who is controlling this cartel, its size, and the seriousness of the problem?
If his contract is not extended, will the investigation of the cartel cease? Will members of the cartel be charged in court and if guilty, imprisoned for their selfish agenda and for tarnishing the PDRM?
Whilst all this is going on, many wonder about the silence of the MACC? Are they unaware, or are they allowing the police to conduct their own investigations? How will we be sure there are no cover-ups or double standards?
Abdul Hamid alleged that corruption in the PDRM, had reached the level of inspector-general. Although he declined to reveal the identity of the corrupt IGP, he claimed that “everyone knows his identity”, although the press was probably intimidated at the time.
As far as the rakyat is aware, Malaysia never really had true press freedom.
In 2015. two men stole some handphones from traders at the Low Yat shopping complex and almost caused a near riot. For a few days, Mat Rempits and other thugs descended on the shopping mall and threatened violence, but the police simply stood back and did nothing.
The allegation was that the police did nothing because they were following a Malay agenda; but a few “powerful” traders phoned the IGP at the time, to demand that the police enforced the law, and protect their premises and their businesses, as they had paid “protection money” to some high ranking policemen.
Calm was restored by the police’s Federal Reserve Unit (FRU). Many people, including the blogger, Papa-gomo, were arrested.
Only an RCI will have the independence and power to conduct a thorough investigation and clean up the PDRM.